April 02, 2018
In positive psychology, flow refers to the feeling of being totally in the zone. It’s when you are so deeply involved in an activity of enjoyment and creativity that you lose track of time. Our #BeintheFlow blog series explores how real and inspiring people find their flow.
My name is Joanna Griffiths and I’m the founder and CEO of Knixwear, a women’s underwear brand based in Toronto.
I came up with the idea for Knix about eight or nine years ago when I was having a candid conversation about women’s bodies and what happens during different life stages and phases — and specifically, all the changes that can happen during pregnancy and post-pregnancy.
Having meaningful and deep conversations is something I’ve always derived a lot of energy from — creating real human connections. That happens so much more frequently when you let go of the BS. It’s something that I derive a lot of happiness and value from. Obviously I work a ton, so the feedback we get from our customers about how our products are changing their lives keep me motivated every day. I also love to travel. I love spending time with people that are important me. The simple things.
In some cases, being in a state of flow feels like an endless, soundless energy. Conversely, it’s also about knowing the things that detract energy away, and avoiding those things. I’m not a huge fan of negativity or complaining. I find it a little bit draining. I feel we all have the capacity to change, and I think it’s equally important to be mindful of the things that take energy away from us.
“Having meaningful and deep conversations is something I’ve always derived a lot of energy from.”
That’s how the idea of Knixwear began — through meaningful conversations. I felt like there needed to be a better solution for creating women’s intimates, so I went back and did an MBA. Throughout my studies, I had the opportunity to interview a couple hundred women. I really felt compelled by the concept that women’s intimates had a lot of room for innovation. There was a real desire for someone to go out and make products that were more comfortable, and truly inspired by today’s multi-faceted, active woman.
The second piece that really stood out to me was just how emotional purchasing intimates was. At the time, Victoria’s Secret was the only major lingerie player in the United States. All these people I was speaking with were craving a brand that spoke more to them and who they are. With that in mind, we launched in 2013 and really made an effort to only use real women and customers in our photoshoots. We wanted to feel like we had the capacity to not just make products that change the way women feel about their bodies, but also showcase that women of all different ages, shapes, sizes and ethnicities are beautiful.
I started the business when I was 28 years old, and I’ve been fortunate to grow up with the brand. I can’t exactly explain or pinpoint exactly when it happened, but somewhere along the way, I stopped being so hard on myself about the way that I looked. I started caring a lot more about the things that make me happy. When I crossed that threshold, I just became such a happier, more fulfilled person. Since then, I feel like it’s my calling, my mission, responsibility — whatever you want to call it — to help as many women as possible come over to this side.
“It’s really important to surround yourself with positive people who share your values.”
I always felt a lot of pressure to look a certain way or be a certain way. There’s something that’s extremely liberating when you learn to accept yourself for who you are. I want more women to feel that way. The use of real women and the inclusivity of our brand is something that, for lack of a better way to describe it, authentically comes from the depths of my soul. It’s something that we internally as a team are really passionate about, and it’s what get us out of bed in the morning.
We’ve partnered with over 500 women since creating the brand in 2013, and we’ve shot women of all shapes and sizes. Being on set, and seeing these women really trust trust us as a brand to tell their story — even though they’re completely outside of their comfort zone — has been really inspiring. I don’t think a lot of people wake up in the morning and think, “I’m going to model underwear today!,” but seeing their beauty and confidence shine opened my eyes.
When I look at all the women that we’ve photographed, every single one of them is so incredibly radiant and gorgeous, and it has nothing to do with what size they are. It has everything to do with this feeling you can see radiating out of them. It was witnessing that magic that stuck and rubbed off on me.
It’s really important to surround yourself with positive people who share your values. That’s something that’s been essential for me, especially if you’re doing something on your own, or carving your own path, like I have. A lot of people are going to think that you can’t achieve your dreams. So finding the people who are positive and supportive and help lift you up is important in general, in life. You become the by-product of the people you spend the most time with, so choosing those people wisely — whether they’re the people that you work with, your partner or your best friend.
I’ve always been a generally optimistic person. I’m a big believer in the idea that life is a marathon, not a race. So if one day isn’t great, it doesn’t mean that the world is over — tomorrow is a new day.